FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WITI) -- Fond du Lac County prosecutors say a Fond du Lac man told investigators he was "targeting a white person" when he swerved his 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup truck into the path of a motorcyclist on July 3, hitting the bike head-on and killing the rider.
The crash happened about 6:45 p.m. in the area of Winnebago Drive and Taycheedah Way in the town of Taycheedah. The victim, 55-year-old Phillip Thiessen, a former Virginia police officer and retired Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation special agent, was killed. Prosecutors noted there's nothing to suggest he was targeted based on his profession.
Daniel Navarro, 27, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, hate crime charges and use of a dangerous weapon. He made his initial court appearance Thursday where bond was set at $1 million cash. Navarro returns to court July 17.
The complaint said Navarro told investigators he believed he was "intentionally contaminated with chemical sterilizer on a jacket by an employment supervisor in Ripon a year and a half prior," and "a friend poisoned him by giving him acid a year and a half ago." He added that he was "still being poisoned by a neighbor." He added that he "can hear one of his neighbors making racist comments through the walls." He said "they" drive by his house and rev their engines or squeal their tires, and "they" know who he is. He said "they" are "trying to upset him" but he "doesn't get angry." He said "those who are poisoning him, giving him acid and making racist comments are all Caucasian and targeting him because he is Mexican."
He said the day of the crash, he took the truck out for a drive to charge up the battery and saw the motorcycle and "intentionally swerved with intent to kill the driver." According to the complaint, he said he had been "thinking about targeting a white person and killing them with a vehicle earlier that day," and he "picked a motorcycle because he wanted the person to die," noting that "white people drive motorcycles," and "the Harley culture is made up of white racists." He said he "wanted to go to prison to be free from his neighbors," and he "knows what he did was wrong."